Prater's Mill

N of Dalton on GA 2, Dalton, Georgia




Photo taken by Eddie Douthitt in July 2010



Street View 


Benjamin Franklin Prater built the mill with slave labor, completing it in the summer of 1855. The great economic expansion during the 1850's allowed Prater to add a blacksmith shop and a general store. During the Civil War both Union and Confederate Cavalry used the mill as a camp site. In February, 1864, during the Battle of Dug Gap, Colonel Eli Long of the Army of the Cumberland (Union) and 600 of his horsemen spent the night. In April of that year 2500 cavalrymen under the command of Confederate General Joseph Wheeler set up camp at the mill. By 1900 a thriving commercial and industrial area had been built, driven by the waters of the Cohulla. The businesses owned by Mr. Prater included the mill and a nearby store, at least one warehouse, a cotton gin, blacksmith shop and a number of tenant farmers. Prater's Mill was in operation for nearly a century. The Praters sold the mill in 1953 and after a succession of owners it closed, one the last operating mills in the United States. In 1995 arsonists set fire to the old mill, heavily damaging one wall and blowing out the windows. Two people have been convicted of the crime and restoration has begun. In October of each year, the Prater's Mill Country Fair draws visitors from all over the United States. During this time, the mill is operated and corn is ground into meal. During the rest of the year the grounds are open and are popular for fishing, picnicking, and family reunions.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on April 25, 1978
Reference number
Areas of significance
Industry; Commerce; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Manufacturing facility; Specialty store
Current functions
Natural feature; Single dwelling; Specialty store
Period of significance
Significant year
ca. 1859
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 3


19th Century (37,747)
Brick (42,462)
Built during 1850s (4,692)
Dalton, Georgia (11)
Georgia (3,073)
Mill (791)
Private owner (54,398)
Whitfield County, Georgia (36)

Update Log 

  • July 4, 2010: New photos from Eddie Douthitt
  • June 29, 2010: Updated by Eddie Douthitt: Corrected GPS coordinates